Friday, March 13, 2009

Jonah Brown Curses Dundee Labour Party

In his speech last Friday to Labour’s Scottish conference in Dundee, Gordon made a toe-curling and very laboured joke:
“As you know I’m not long back from Washington DC and I said the people there that I couldn’t stay long because I was off to Dundee, They asked, Dundee Michigan, Dundee Illinois or Dundee Oregon? I said the original Dundee. They asked what state was it in? It’s in a great state, I replied. It’s got a Labour council.”

Not now it hasn’t. In a council by-election held yesterday and counted today, Labour lost control of the council.

On the other hand, Dundee’s woes worsened this week in that Gordon’s visit was followed by local job losses at NCR and Texol. The accursed one-eyed son of the manse strikes again…

Friday Caption Competition (Gordon & Gorby Edition)

Draper Passing Round the Hat for Money

The Mirror and the Telegraph this morning have stories about the financial difficulties of Derek and Kate Draper. The family car was crushed for non-payment of vehicle taxes, and it transpires that Kate (the major breadwinner in the family) was taken to court and had to remortgage the family home in order to pay £173,000 in back taxes. Guido has been aware for some time of Derek’s financial problems – he left debts behind him in the U.S. and his lack of accepted qualifications has made it difficult for him to get NHS patients. The video business he set up to exploit the wife’s celebrity is not a huge success. Draper supplements his income by writing pop-psychology pieces for the tabloids and his own brand of “insider” political analysis for the Guardian – remember his warning to Get Ready for a Short, Sharp Campaign in September 2007? Clearly there is only limited money in his journalism because he has been reduced to doing deals selling pictures of his kids to the downmarket OK celebrity magazine run by pornographer Dirty Desmond.

What many people won’t know from today’s tabloid revelations is that Derek has borrowed heavily from (some now former) friends, political figures and even journalists, some of whom have confirmed to Guido that he has borrowed thousands off them – and they have had great difficulty and embarrassment in getting their money back, sometimes for years. Now he is apparently once again passing round the begging hat to raise money for LabourList, claiming the endorsement of Peter Mandelson for the website. Perhaps he can call on Mandelson’s blind trust to help him out?


UPDATE 20.00 : Derek says the above is a pack of lies and libelous. Which is what he said about the “not at Berkeley in Berkeley” story. He is threatening to sue, again. He won’t. Again. Same old Derek, same old spin.

UPDATE 21.00 : “I have excellent qualifications as a psychotherapist including an MA in psychology and another MA which I am about to receive from a very distinguished UK institution.” If, and Guido means if, you already have an “excellent” MA in psychology, why do you need another?

Ponzi State

Jeff Randall in the Telegraph nails it:

Q: What’s the difference between Bernard Madoff and Gordon Brown?

A: One has drained fortunes from gullible victims, plundering their income and savings to create an illusion of prosperity. The other is going to jail.

Madoff, unlike Brown, has apologised.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Balls on Baby P

From Hansard during the Baby P / Laming Report debate this afternoon:

“I do not want to throw out the baby with bathwater here, which is why it is important we do this properly. The social work taskforce will take this forward.”

Bad choice of phrase Blinky….

Now We Know Where Mandelson Gets His Best Ideas

Some people have said that Labour nicks all the Tories best ideas, so the Tories are wise to keep their manifesto plans under wraps.

It certainly looks that way, after Post Office privatisation was taken up by Mandy, one waggish Tory MP welcomed Mandelson to the Thatcherite wing of the Conservative Party. An eagle-eyed co-conspirator draws attention to the document at Mandelson’s feet after he was gunged outside the Carbon Summit. It looks like the Tory environment policy paper.

His chosen reading explains a few things.

Twitter Redux

Matthew Parris this morning says real men don’t Twitter, quite right, but that old faker Draper does, and his suspension from Twitter is getting loads of play around the blogosphere and on Twitter. Yesterday Guido went to some trouble to find out what really happened, twice putting it to Draper that his account was suspended and twice he avoided answering the question. Draper is not stricly denying his account was suspended, he is just arguing with everyone about it, with Clintonesque evasions, basically saying if he was suspended, he isn’t now.

Guido also called a source close to Twitter HQ in San Francisco. They confirmed that Draper’s account was suspended for abuse of the terms of service as reported. Draper pleaded with them for it to be restored in a “Do you know who I am?” way. They didn’t, nor did they care. They restored it anyway.

Dolly was suspended for spamming; James Graham says he has had mulitple Twitter spam follow/unfollows from Derek, which only ended when he finally followed Draper. Yet, despite this being widely attested to, Draper denies spamming people.

Derek is such a spinner, at no time has he admitted being suspended, nor has he mentioned that he begged Twitter to unsuspend his account. Guido has put the facts to him today. He has not as yet responded.

Serendipitous Euro-Timing

Cameron gave one firm promise during his leadership campaign – that he would lead the Tories out of the EPP by Christmas 2006. That turned into 2009. At the time Guido thought it a telling breach of promise, in retrospect it looks like clever politics.

A largely united eurosceptic Tory party is going to finally make the break with the federalist EPP and take other like-minded parties with it into a euro-conservative grouping. This will enthuse the rank and file, make good Dave’s promise and undermine UKIP and Libertas, all in good time to make an impact on the June Euro elections. Labour will be looking to highlight splits – unless Clarke breaks his word they are unlikely to find any of significance.

So long as the Tories have the company of other governing parties from across Europe they will have succeeded.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Knives are Out for Harman

Harriet is protesting that she is loyal and loudly asking “who is briefing against me?” The Brownies of course – that is their stock in trade. A little snippet appears in the FT under Sue Cameron’s byline – though the original author is undoubtedly a Brown henchman.
Harriet Harman (now there’s a woman who knows how to frighten the horses) will be introducing her equalities bill next month. Word is that she has asked her officials to ensure that there are some disabled people in the Commons gallery when the bill is launched, adding: “And it would help if some of them were black.”

That is a perfect example of the kind of poison so often dripped by Damian McBride. Detailed, probably true and obtained by one of his press officer snouts to damage Harman. Expect a lot more of that sort of thing if she keeps make leadership signals.

eRating Public Services

The government plans to establish online feedback to rate public services – GPs, police, childcare and councils. It will, they spin, be like TripAdvisor.com for the public sector. The Tories say it is just a gimmick. Guido thinks it has potential. FixMyStreet.com is a similar concept.

Notice however they have left MPs off the list of public servants who will be getting feedback…


Seen Elsewhere

How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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